13 Beats of the Week: 10/15/20



  1. “Schemin,” by Inner Wave — California neo-psychedelia group Inner Wave pride themselves on reviving dance-floor jams with lo-fi twists and deadpan vocals. Reading that last sentence back, it sounds like an insult, but I assure you: I mean it in the best way possible.
  1. “Shirim,” by Melody’s Echo Chamber — Parisian Melody Prochet has her own unique take on pop music, incorporating elements of progression alongside complicated instrumentation to create a lush and encapsulating experience. 
  1. “Holland, 1945,” by Neutral Milk Hotel — Every time I think I’ve finally cracked and finished Neutral Milk Hotel, I randomly relisten to their cult classic LP In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and finish it with even more questions than before. Revolutionary, abrasive and even unintelligible at times, NMH were truly producing new and interesting sounds that many contemporary indie rock artists wish they could emulate with such simple finesse.
  1. “Ascension / Pt. 1,” by John Coltrane — As free jazz isn’t for everyone, John Coltrane somehow makes the pseudo-randomness of improvisation and the rejection of structurality tell a story with enthralling big band experimentation. This track, however, is not for the faint of heart, clocking in at roughly 20 minutes.
  1. “More,” by Flying Lotus & Anderson .Paak — Many describe Steven “Flying Lotus” Ellison’s sound as something powered by acid trips and classical jazz training, with legendary names occasionally decorating his tracklists — enter Anderson .Paak. Every listen to Ellison’s recent album Flamagra elaborates on the last play with surreal and eclectic synths, boom-bapping drumlines and introspective lyrics that demand your attention. 
  1. “Debold,” by Vegyn — Vegyn has been around for quite some time now as an underground, London-based club beat producer, pushing the established IDM envelope with elements of sound collaging and thematic. Producing both of Frank Ocean’s recent albums Blond and Endless only aided in catapulting Vegyn into the public eye.
  1. “Jeanie (feat. Bon Iver),” by Jim-E Stack — Clearly inspired by the likes of Daft Punk, Diplo, Burial and other such electronica legends, Jim-E Stacks offers a deconstruction of established synthpop rules, reigning as a new big name in the developing “future garage” scene — aptly named in its grassroots inspiration and its refreshing DIY take on beat production. Legendary music artist Bon Iver, of course, adds to this new take on music as a whole.
  1. “Let Your Light Shine,” by Willie Dale — I do wish I could find any information on Willie Dale, an otherwise overlooked soul artist from the ’70s, but it seems that he’s about as mysterious as his lack of fame for this incredible A-side track. 
  1. “Many Men,” by 21 Savage & Metro Boomin — 21 Savage’s recent release Savage Mode II took me right back to 2016 — I mean, just look at the album art. This being said, 21 doesn’t miss a single beat as he proves his growth as an artist since his breakout mixtapes.
  1. “Mask On,” by Jeshi — I’ve always been a fan of Jeshi, who tells of a specific grit and grime one could only find on the streets of East London. Unarguably dark and ambient, the Walthamstow native brings his best on “Mask On,” elaborating on his own experiences as a UK youth. 
  1. “Mirror in the Bathroom,” by The Beat — I can’t believe I put a ska track on this list — and one from the ’80s, no less. As pioneers of ska’s second wave in the UK, The Beat (or The English Beat, depending on who you ask) tied in elements of new wave and even pop-reggae on their track “Mirror in the Bathroom,” confusing everyone involved in the best way possible. It’s a weird one, for sure.
  1. “Why Are We in Love,” by Furniture — Furniture came around at a time where people were really pushing the “artistic merit” of music, birthing genres like sophisti-pop that involved complex instrumentation that relied heavily on percussion, woodwinds, and dramatic lyricism. Listening to “Why Are We in Love” is like watching an entire soap opera in five minutes, and honestly, I’m all for it.
  1. “Come Over (feat. Popcaan),” by Jorja Smith — One of the better R&B singles to come out this year (in my humble opinion), Jorja Smith’s “Come Over” relies on some dancehall energy to create a unique and enjoyable listening experience — albeit one that is entirely surface-level and simplistic.